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Snap Sells Placed, Its Location-Based Ad Measurement Unit, to Foursquare

Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, is selling Placed — a provider of user-location data it bought two years ago — to Foursquare, which was a competitor to Placed.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Snap bought Placed two years ago for $132.5 million in cash, per a company regulatory filing. Foursquare also announced Friday that it has raised $150 million in funding, led by the Raine Group, to help finance its first acquisition.

By divesting Placed, which it had operated as an independent division, Snap will gain new working capital to focus on its core Snapchat app and advertising business.

Foursquare started 10 years ago as a social-media app that let users check in to different locations, but has pivoted to selling location data and services to advertisers and other partners. Placed tracks consumers’ physical visits to retail outlets and links that data with digital ad campaigns. To date, Placed has measured 135 million survey responses in its first-party Placed survey apps from consumers who have opted-in to its rewards app.

Snap will continue working with Foursquare and Placed “in many capacities,” according Jeremi Gorman, Snap’s chief business officer, including with respect to measurement, location data and geofilters for Snapchat.

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Together, Foursquare and Placed will be “a powerhouse in location technology and measurement, and we are excited to see how they invent the future of location,” Gorman said in a statement.

When Foursquare first approached Snap about the deal for Placed, “they quickly recognized how the combination would enhance Placed’s ability to fulfill its mission as a kind of Google Analytics of the offline world,” Foursquare CEO Jeff Glueck wrote in a blog post about the deal.

With Foursquare’s acquisition, David Shim, founder and CEO of Placed, will become president at the company. The combined company will have 350 employees, over 40% of which are in engineering and data-science roles.

More than 1,000 advertisers use Placed or Foursquare for location-based tech, according to Glueck. The companies have measured over $3 billion in ad-to-store visits over the last 12 months, he claimed.

The company’s rebranded “Placed powered by Foursquare” solution will have more than 450 media partners, including Snap, Twitter, Pandora and Waze. Foursquare’s clients include Uber, Samsung, Apple, Hilton, AccuWeather, and Tencent, among 150,000 other developers.

With the combo, Placed will be able to leverage Foursquare’s global map of 105 million points of interest across 190 countries and tap into Foursquare’s U.S. base of over 100 million monthly measured devices. Glueck pledged that Foursquare and Placed will remain “dedicated to elevating the industry through respect for transparency, user control, and instituting layers of privacy safeguards.”

Foursquare’s $150 million in new financing brings its total funding to around $390 million.

“We see location-based data and technology underpinning some of the largest fundamental shifts in technology with companies like Foursquare helping drive accelerated innovation in commerce, transportation, entertainment, and personalization across AI/machine learning and AR/VR,” Raine Group managing director Gary Little, who led the new investment in Foursquare, said in a statement.

Pictured above: Foursquare CEO Jeff Glueck (l.); David Shim, former CEO of Placed and now Foursquare president

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